What do you think will happen?

Photo on 2013-09-16 at 23.03“Have you ever considered contacts?”

“Oh, no, no, no.  Uh-uh.  Not going to happen.  Nope.”

“Why not?”

“I can’t have anything near my eyes, especially a giant fat finger of doom.”

“What about laser surgery?”

“If I can’t have a finger near my eyes, I sure as shit ain’t gonna have lasers near them!”

“What do you think will happen?”

“Don’t worry,” said the doctor.  Or maybe she was just a technician.  “This won’t hurt a bit.”

She lied.  There was this intense pain.  I wanted to squirm, but there was this gigantic laser thing pointed at my eye.  And I was strapped down to a chair.  A comfy chair, but still.  Strapped down.  And my head was in a thing.  Harness?  I don’t know.  Worst of all, my eye was propped open, eyelids peeled back and held with these tiny little clamps.  The pain still came on.  All I could do was scream.

When it was over, I could hear them whispering, though the words weren’t all clear.  I heard ‘odds’ and ‘lawsuit’, not what you ever want to hear from medical professionals.  It’s like being on a plane and after the pilot makes his or her little announcement over the intercom, they accidentally forget to turn off the mic and start talking about how much crack they smoked not ten minutes ago and that the maintenance crew thought they saw some frayed wires but decided to put it off ’til you reach Reno.  Oh yeah – and you’re going to Reno.

The doctor (pretty sure this time) comes over with that hang-dog expression no one wants to see.  He’s kind of blurry, or maybe that’s just my eye.  The other one, the one they hit with the laser, that one is covered in a patch.  Argh.  

“There’s this one in a trillion possibility that when we shoot the laser into your eye,” he begins, “that you could have this tiny mass of cells inside the eye, completely invisible to all manner of modern detection.  When the laser hits that mass, you become…  Wow, this is really hard to say.”

“Just spit it out,” I beg him.

“A complete and utter douchebag.”

“What?”  The fear is already welling up in my throat.  “No!  You’re lying!”

“I’m sorry,” he says with a shake of his head.  “There is no cure.  You had a recessive douchebag cluster.  The laser activated it.”

“But, I don’t want to be a douche!” 

“Douchebag,” he corrects me. 


THAT’S what you think will happen?”

“…maybe.  You don’t know!”

“That would never happen!”

“…douchebag’s have to come from somewhere.”

“Yeah, well, we call that place the Internet.”

“. . .”

1 Comment

  • Janet Harriett Posted September 18, 2013 7:43 pm

    I think I’m on some sort of watch list for optometrists. I swear, they run away with speeds normally seen only in dental hygienists and cheetahs. I have to have someone physically hold my head into the Giant Eye-Puffer of Doom (the thing they claim is to test for glaucoma) because THING COMING AT MY EYEBALL!!!! With bonus glowy light, because nothing bad ever had a glowy blue light on it. Even after the struggle to get eyedrops into me (usually also requiring head restraint), they still act like I’ll be fine with THING COMING AT MY EYEBALL!!! Last year, primping for the Hugos, we had to forgo the eyelash curler because it turns out that even when I’m holding it and know I’m going to stop before I get to my cornea, THING COMING AT MY EYEBALL! I put it down to having worn glasses most of my life. My eyes are used to having a layer of plastic/polycarbonate armor between their squishiness and the world of things that will poke at them.

    I’ve had people toss the “What do you think will happen” with regard to my two medical-grade phobias (heights and clawed crustaceans). Yes, I understand that I’m perfectly safe on my couch while the clifftop scene is playing on the TV. My adrenal glands are working on a whole different level than my brain, though.

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